Does your home have proper ventilation? Like most homes in the Oklahoma City area, yours is probably locked up tight during the winter months. This leaves much of the ventilation responsibility up your whole house system. But is it enough? It is vital that the air in your home is well ventilated and free of contaminants. We’ve compiled a few essential checklists to ensure that your home is properly ventilated throughout the year.
Fresh Air Comes into Your Home A Few Different Ways:
- Whenever doors and windows are opened, usually during transitional months in OKC.
- Cracks and openings where the parts of the structure connect, including walls, floors, windows and pipes.
- Spot ventilation, including fans that pull air from the kitchen and bathroom.
- Mechanical, whole house systems such as an HVAC.
Challenges of Poor Ventilation
- Pollution can build up inside your home when there isn’t enough air circulating. Asbestos, formaldehyde, radon and tobacco smoke are all potential contributors to indoor air pollution and poor ventilation only exacerbates the situation.
- When there is high humidity outside, it can affect the indoor air. When the inside of your home is too humid, there is a risk of moisture damage including wood rot and mold.
- Sometimes efforts to make homes more energy efficient can backfire when there isn’t enough air circulating. An airtight home might seem like an ideal plan, but the structure must also be able to “breathe” (meaning circulate air).
- Carbon monoxide can build up to deadly levels in a home that isn’t properly ventilated.
Ventilation to Protect Your Health
- Make sure that you have exhaust fans in the bathroom (to remove moisture) and kitchen (to remove smoke and fumes) from the home.
- If your kitchen doesn’t have an exhaust, make sure to open a window after using the stove to remove airborne particles.
- Make sure that all combustion appliances (including propane, gas and wood) vent completely to the outside.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector near all bedrooms in the home.
- Clothes dryers must be vented to the outside. Make sure to clean the vent regularly so that dust and other contaminants do not block the air flow.
- Test your home for radon, the second leading cause of lung cancer. 1 out of 15 homes in the U.S. contain a high level of the radioactive gas. If you find that you have elevated levels, hire a professional for ventilation options.
- Is the air the in your home too moist? Oklahoma summers can sometimes be overwhelmingly humid. But often there are other factors that can affect the moisture level in your home. Look for potential sources of moisture that need to be controlled (including plumbing, roof leaks and damp basements). A dehumidifier might be one solution if the humidity is contained in one area. But call an air systems specialist if you feel that the moisture level is adversely affected by the heat outside.
- Do you paint or use craft/hobby supplies with strong chemicals? Make sure that you open the windows and have a portable fan to move the air out of the room.
Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning offers a comprehensive Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Service to protect your household. We will conduct a thorough evaluation of your home’s air quality to best assess your household needs. Call us today to schedule an appointment at 405-794-8900!